Success hinges on marketers mastering the areas of drivers, equipment, fuel

August 7, 2023 By    
Challenges for fleets include a driver shortage and lead times. (Photo courtesy of Drew James Productions)

Challenges for fleets include a driver shortage and lead times. (Photo courtesy of Drew James Productions)

Propane marketers working to run their operations at an optimal level are navigating issues with their trucking fleet, and many of the issues revolve around timing – which we address in our annual truck section.

At the forefront is marketers’ ability to attract and retain their drivers at a time when the trucking industry continues to face a shortage of more than 78,000 drivers, with a need to hire a million more over the next decade to meet increasing demand, according to the American Trucking Associations. The propane industry – marketers and association leaders – are working to address this ongoing challenge, which also isn’t lost on members of Congress.

Just as propane marketers continue to grapple with filling driver positions, they are bogged down in the truck acquisition process, in some cases having to wait six to 12 months for a new truck. LP Gas conversations with trucking company personnel reveal the industry’s frustrations related to truck builders and suppliers getting enough chassis and other needed equipment to assemble trucks for customers. It’s a test of planning and patience.

The timing of global factors – the war in Ukraine coinciding with the economic recovery post-pandemic – as well as other factors closer to home have impacted fuel markets. We’re a year removed from record-high gasoline and diesel prices eating into propane marketer budgets. Moreover, many shifts are taking place with diesel. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Trucks Plan and even more stringent emissions rules in California appear to have major implications for diesel engines.

Discussions about emissions always lead back to the environmental benefits of propane autogas – certainly for the industry’s commercial fleet customers but just as well for propane marketer fleets. While much focus has been on the timing and development of the Cummins B6.7 propane engine for on-road, medium-duty applications, our autogas update helps marketers realize the propane-fueled options available now across their entire fleet of vehicles.

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at or 216-706-3748.

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